Als expecting Allen

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:56 AM ET

This being playoff time, Montreal Alouettes coach Jim Popp will be a selective consumer of the information filtering out of Argos camp.

But when it comes to the starting quarterback of his opponent in Sunday's CFL's East Division final, has no problem biting on the company line.

"Damon Allen has been starting there for how many years?," Popp said in a phone interview yesterday when asked how his team is preparing for Toronto quarterbacks.

"I don't think that's going to change. That's how we look at it. Both guys are very athletic so we can't treat one different than the other, anyway."

Popp was watching with obvious interest when Allen was replaced by Michael Bishop midway through the fourth quarter of this past Sunday's division semi-final.

Three passes and two touchdowns later and the Argos had stunned the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to get on the guest list for Sunday's meeting in Montreal.

"Prior to him coming in, the series before Damon Allen got hit pretty hard," Popp said. "Who knows, he might have got dinged. Without knowing and being on the Toronto sideline, maybe he was just going to sit out for a series to get the cobwebs out."

That theory was one put forth by some Winnipeg players, who cited defensive end Doug Brown's crushing hit just before Argos coach Mike Clemons made the switch.

Allen denied afterward that he was rattled and Clemons said this week that the hit had no bearing on his move.

"(Allen) gets awfully upset if I take him out after a hit," Clemons said. "He likes to get back and answer that."

Meanwhile, Popp said the Als have had a productive week of practice despite the distraction of Alain Kashama and Mark Estelle's involvement in an altercation with police.

"It has been nothing for the rest of the team, but for the two players having to answer questions it is," Popp said.

"Overall, I can't complain. The players have been attentive and had a good week of practice."


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